Prostitution surge expected in Stuttgart during European Championship


Last Updated on July 17, 2024 by Thomas Schumacher

As the 2024 European Championship approaches, Stuttgart city officials anticipate a rise in prostitution to cater to the influx of football fans. With hundreds of thousands of enthusiasts expected to flood the city for the tournament, the local government is preparing for a surge in demand for sex workers.

Despite predictions, there may not be a significant increase in the registration of sex workers, as required by the Prostitutes Protection Act. It is expected that women already registered in other municipalities might temporarily relocate to Stuttgart for the event. The Interior Ministry recalls only isolated cases of visiting prostitutes during the 2006 FIFA World Cup, indicating a potential precedent.

Stuttgart has a small red-light district primarily concentrated on one street. City officials estimate that only about ten percent of the city’s sex workers work there, with the majority working online or in appointment-based apartments. Around 400 women work as prostitutes in Stuttgart daily.

Legal and illegal prostitution concerns

John Heer, Chairman of the Association of German Brothels, predicts an additional 30 to 40 prostitutes will come to Stuttgart for the European Championship. Heer, who runs a brothel in the red-light district, expressed concerns about the increase in illegal prostitution. Currently, Stuttgart has three legal brothels with a total of 75 rooms available for sex workers. Heer estimates that around 20 women engage in illegal street prostitution within the city.

Street prostitution has been a focus for local law enforcement since late 2017, with approximately 570 inspections leading to the closure of over 20 illegal operations.

The National Association Nordic Model, which opposes prostitution, also expects an increase in sex work during the championship. They have launched a public awareness campaign urging men to be fans, not buyers. Despite these efforts, the Ministry of Social Affairs and the State Criminal Police Office report no concrete evidence suggesting a significant influx of prostitutes for the event. The Interior Ministry’s historical data from the 2006 World Cup supports this, noting only isolated instances of such occurrences.

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Stuttgart has no plans to implement special provisions for sex workers during the championship. The city’s social services, responsible for sexual health, prostitution, and tuberculosis, continue to offer comprehensive advisory services. Additionally, Café La Strada in the red-light district provides on-site support for women in the industry.

The counseling center for prostitutes in Stuttgart does not foresee a substantial increase in sex workers for the European Championship. They argue that the primary attraction for fans is football, not prostitution.

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